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Ohio Unemployment: Basic Eligibility Requirements

Ohio Unemployment: Basic Eligibility Requirements

In order to qualify for unemployment compensation in Ohio, a claimant must:

  • Be unemployed. This does not necessarily require that employment is terminated. An employee who is temporarily laid off can qualify for benefits. An employee whose work hours are cut can qualify for partial benefits.

For example, a full time employee who normally works 40-hour weeks is cut down to two workdays and 16 hours per week. The employee may be partially unemployed and qualify for unemployment compensation.

  • Meet minimum work weeks and earnings requirements. The employee must have worked at least 20 weeks during either (a) the four calendar quarters prior to the most recent completed quarter; or (b) the last four calendar quarters. The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) calls this the “base period.” The employee must also have average earnings of at least $233 in those qualifying work weeks for unemployment claims made during 2014. The average earnings requirement changes each year.
  • Be terminated without just cause. This often contentious issue is where many claimants and employers disagree. It is also the primary issue in many unemployment hearings. Did the employer have “just cause” or reasonable cause to terminate the employee? In some cases, an employee who quit may still be eligible for unemployment if working conditions were so poor  that a reasonable person would have resigned.

As noted above, the claimant need not be terminated at all to qualify for unemployment. But if he was terminated, then his eligibility for unemployment compensation may depend on a finding of whether the employee caused the termination.

  • Re-establish herself as eligible for compensation, if she had a prior unemployment claim. This requires the claimant to go back to work for at least six weeks and earn three times the average weekly wage for the prior benefit year.

Call attorney David Truman today at (216) 539-7073 or contact us if you have questions about your eligibility for unemployment compensation.